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GuidesHow to open a terminal on Mac

How to open a terminal on Mac

Many users try to get acquainted with Mac Terminal to have access to a variety of features that your Mac can activate. The Mac Terminal, think of it as the ultimate command shortcut hub. It gives you an opportunity to take control of your operating system quickly and efficiently.

How to properly use Mac Terminal

Mac Terminal seems to be like you speak a different language. It would be required to get acquainted with the general rules to use them in an appropriate way. 

For instance, for every symbol you fill in values, even spaces; you navigate through lines using your arrow keys, and you have to click on the “return,” or “enter,” button to give a command. 

If you want to know more about Mac Terminal, you should keep on reading.

Before doing anything with the Mac terminal, you should open it.

How to open the Terminal on a Mac

There are two methods how to open the Terminal on your Mac: the Applications folder in your Finder, or searching in Spotlight.

How to open Terminal via the Finder

If you want to open Terminal via the Finder, you should follow the steps which would be mentioned in the section below:

  • First of all, you should tap on the Finder logo which may be found in the bottom toolbar of your screen, it looks like a two-toned smiling face.
  • After that, you should head to the left toolbar. There, you should head to “Applications“. In case that was the latest folder you visited within the Finder, this folder be will automatically opened by the Finder.
  • Then, you should scroll down to find and open the “Utilities” folder.
  • To complete the process, you should do a double-click on the “Terminal“. In this way, you will open it.

How to open Terminal via Spotlight

If you want to open Terminal on your Mac via Spotlight, you should follow the prompts which would be mentioned in the section below:

First of all, you should click on the “Command” button and the space bar, simultaneously. After doing this, a search bar will be displayed on your screen.

  • After that, you should fill in “Terminal“. In some cases, as you type, it may be auto-filled.
  • Then, you should do a double-click on the “Terminal” in the left sidebar. In this way, your Mac’s Terminal will be opened.

It may be a good idea to pin the Terminal to your Mac’s bottom toolbar if you intend to use it often, as it would be easier to access it. If you want to pin the Terminal on your Mac to the bottom toolbar, you should follow the instruction which would be mentioned in the section below:

  • First of all, you should do a right-click on the Terminal logo in the dock. It would be displayed as soon as the Terminal would be opened.
  • After that, you should look over the “Options“.
  • To complete the process, you should click on “Keep in Dock.”

What are basic commands that can be used on your Mac’s Terminal

You should be aware of the fact that after you have filled in each command, it would be needed to click on the return button for the command to be activated. Below you will be able to see a list of basic commands to know. It is important to remember that the command and spaces should be exactly copied.

Open an application:


Or, if the application has a space in its name:


Open a file using the default application:

For this, you’ll have to know the command pathway for the file you want to access. To do that, you can either pull the file to the Terminal window to count to the line or do a right-click on the file and tap on “Copy [NAME]” and then fill in the Command+V shortcut to paste it into the Terminal. However, the latter appears to only copy the actual file name, it actually captures the full pathway. You can also tap on the spacebar following the app name and then the command would take hold.


Open a file using an application you specify:

Again, you’ll need the file pathway to use this command.


Open a text-based file using the text editor:

Keep in mind that the file pathway is also important here.

Open -a Text Edit [FILE PATHWAY]

If you need to head to your Terminal’s settings, you should hold down the command key when you click the comma button. In case you want to block a command you’ve pasted, it can be done by clicking the window (if it isn’t already chosen) and holding down the “control” key, and pressing “c.” The up arrow key can be also used in case you want to repeat the command to cycle through previously used commands and when you found the one you want, click on “return.”

Don’t worry if you make a mistake in your command pathways: You’ll just get a message back saying something along the lines of, “No such file or directory exists.”



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